That’s the message from the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG), which is urging people locally to get involved in the national conversation around tackling gender equality issues in relation to mental health.
Gender roles and expectations have particular mental health consequences for women and girls and the current Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of these pressures. Unpaid care work, juggling work commitments and social media pressures are just some of the factors triggering more women and girls to suffer from anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self harm.
The Advisory Council will examine what needs to change to offer greater support to women and girls and take a feminist approach to self-care, as well as determine what actions are needed to improve gender equality in relation to mental health.
The NACWG aims to raise the issue of gender inequality in Scotland by drawing attention to a wide range of issues faced by women and girls with a new theme on a bi-monthly basis.
And the spotlight is on mental health until the end of December to understand the emotional and psychological challenges faced by women and girls, particularly in light of coronavirus.
Chairwoman Louise Macdonald OBE said: “While we have seen the stigma around discussing mental health decrease in recent years, things like access to support services remain an issue for many. Poor mental health can prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential, therefore, it’s important they feel supported, particularly during these unprecedented times.
“The Advisory Council is inviting groups, organisations and networks in Dumfries and Galloway, to share their experiences, opinions and ideas. Every bit of feedback will help to gather more insight and help to drive action in creating long-lasting change for women and girls in Scotland.”
To participate go to onescotland.org/NACWG.